The Waikiki Aquarium is celebrating its 110th birthday this weekend. The first event took place today and the second is to follow on Saturday. Madison and I left the house at 8, hoping to beat traffic on the road and at the aquarium. We failed. Twice.
Apparently, everyone who had a kid or grand kid on spring break showed up at the Aquarium today. On our first pass of the Aquarium at 8:40, the line snaked from the front door out of the parking lot. By the time we found parking past the Kaimana and the erstwhile W, the line was about 100 yards long in the direction of the greater Waikiki area.
About the best thing I can say about the Aquarium is that admission was only $1.10 today. We’ve been there a few times, and it’s more or less the same. Madison loves the jellyfish and claims that they speak to her. “You speak their language?” I asked her. “Yeah, they remember me from last time,” she said. It took us a little longer than usual to get through the indoor displays because of the sheer volume of people crammed into the Aquarium. I’m not an expert in the field, but I want to say that a small handful of fire codes were violated today. Madison likes the Finding Nemo-inspired exhibit as well as the sea turtles. I like the big fish and sharks. According to some of the advertisements along the wall, the seahorses and sea dragons are on their way. I guess that’ll be something.
As you know, Madison’s favorite kind of fish is the Humuhumu… The first thing we did when we got outside was check out the outdoor tank. We know that there’s a zippy Humu living in there, and we both hoped we’d be able to spot him swimming his circles in the tank. “Dad, he’s here!” Madison shouted, pointing at the tank. Sure enough, Humu buzzed right by us toward the right end of the tank. When he reached the wall, he turned and swam along the glass right next to us. “Hey, he came to say hello!” I said. “Go, Humu, go!” Madison said. Of course, he came back. I never imagined the sight of a fish would ever bring me so much personal joy, but damn it, he does. I feel like some kind of emotional transference has taken place. I used to be excited to see Humu because I knew Mad would love it. Now, I also legitimately love to see this bugger and his brother at the Blaisdell.
Because the metered parking at Kapiolani Park doesn’t count until 10 AM (something I didn’t find out for certain until we were already in line), Madison and I had to walk back to the car to re-up, then walk back to the Aquarium and re-enter. It sucked, but I tried to think of it as building up a good sweat for our eventual visit to the beach.
I hadn’t been to Kaimana Beach since college probably, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the water clear and the sand uncrowded, well, at least by aquariums-celebrating-their-birthday standards. Madison changed into her swim outfit (Editor’s Note: Look, I’m aware of it, too. The summer is coming and we’ll be getting Madison some new swimsuits. I know it’s this one and the blue one with the skirt, and little else. We’re working on it. Thanks for your patience.) and we got into the water.
Perhaps because it was still fairly windy, Madison grew cold quickly. “I don’t want to shower here, it’s too cold,” she said. Normally, I would have forced her into the cold water of the shower and fought her as she shouted things not-quite obscenities (but close). Today, though, I made her a deal. If she came exploring with me, we’d just use the towels to get the sand off of our feet. She agreed and we walked atop the rocks in the corner of the beach. There were a few small fish, some hermit crabs, and that was about it. We found a walkway between the scene of the 4D and the Outrigger that led straight to our car. Said walkway also featured a shower. “How fortuitous!” I said. “What?” Madison asked. I didn’t bother. Yes, I speak like that in real life, not just to irritate/impress 17-year olds. We shot the water off of our feet and walked to the car. We had lunch at Rainbow Drive-in. The Instagram picture of my loco moco was booed by Lynnette, which is the least desirable of the statements Lynnette can give out – except for “Keep yourself to yourself, I’m tired and exhausted.” That one’s just a complete morale killer. I can go on and on, but I would like to sum up the day with a picture: